Windsor Castle, 10 february 1854 |Tableaux of the Seasons
Apart from acting in plays, the children also created tableaux vivants. On such occasion the Queen always remarked that her husband was “much pleased” with the entertainment, which consisted of thematic stage pictures, scenerey, musical accompaniment, and, sometimes, poetic recitation. The tableau vivant - a peculiarly nineteenth-century form of drawing room entertainment - was based on the popular theatrical convention of concluding scenes with a stage picture that, by temporarily suspending speech and action, effectively turned the performance into a living painting. Tableaux performed in private were not generally scenes from plays, but were more likely to recreate historical events, represent mythological and literaru figures.
Queen Victoria and the Theatre of Her Age by R. Schoch.
This Tableaux was performed at Windsor Castle in the Rubens Room in 1854 by the seven eldest children of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to mark their parent’s 14th wedding anniversary. The scenes were based on The Seasons by the 18th century poet James Thomson and were photographed by Roger Fenton.
Queen Victoria recorded in her journal that: “5 tableaux were performed, 4, representing the seasons. Alice, as spring, recited some very pretty verses from Thompson’s Season - Vicky as summer, with dear little Arthur asleep amongst corn sheaves, also recited verses, - Affie, as Bacchus, representing Autumn, also saying some verses, - & Bertie, with a long white beard & cloak covered with snow, Louise, in a sort of Russian costume, sitting before a fire, represented Winter. He also recited some verses taken and adapted from Thompson’s Seasons. This was almost the prettiest tableau. The 5th & last one combined the 4 others, which had each been separately represent d. In the clouds, at the back, stood dear little Lenchen, reciting very pretty verses specially written for the purpose by Mr Martin Tupper, as the Spirit of the Empress Helena.The scenery was admirably adapted to each Tableau & appropriate music was played between each. They all looked and did their parts so well…We were all delighted, & the whole, was such a pretty idea’.
Princess Victoria as Summer | Prince Albert Edward as Winter | Princess Alice as Spring | Prince Alfred as Autumn | Prince Arthur as Summer | Princess Helena as the Spirit Empress | Princess Louise as Winter.
Summary: The King of the Ice Kingdom arrives in the palace seeking a bride for his only son. Who will he choose?
Word Count: 2835
Warnings: Blood (In later parts), Smut (in later parts)
You were running by through the palace gardens when you heard one of the servants calling your name. Your two sisters, Katerina and Victoria, looked up from the game of checkers they were playing beneath the cherry blossom tree.
27 April 1882 – Wedding of Prince Leopold and Princess Helena of Waldeck-Pyrmont at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.
‘A lovely sight she was, her white satin dress & train, embroidered with silver lilies & trimmed with Brussels lace. She wore on her head a diamond diadem, in the shape of flowers (a Waldeck family jewel) surrounded by a bridal wreath & a long tulle veil’ Queen Victoria
Dark Shadows was originally a 60′s Soap Opera that dealt with Gothic horror elements and dark story tones. In all intents and purposes, it is the perfect set for Tim Burton to tackle. Now, if you read any review on the movie, they’ll tell you the same thing.That it’s a half baked mess, a wobbly plot with no effort. Yes, that is all true, but as a Tim Burton fan and a creative mind myself, I can still see something of merit in this film. First off, the setting. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I absolutely love period pieces, particularly those set in the 70′s. It’s hard to not be wowed by Burton’s visuals, this is no exception. The 70′s decor and color is memorizing and done just. It’s really saying “look at how weird the 70′s were”, it’s simply addressing the time for what it was. The music, the clothes, even the film grain oozes with age.
The cast of Dark Shadows is made up of such strong talent. the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Helena Bonham Carter, and Jackie Earl Haley. But the two that stand out are Johnny Depp and Eva Green. The plot revolves around Barnabas Collins(Depp) who leaves Angelique Bouchard(Green) for the true love of his life, Josette. Hurt by his betrayal, Angelique casts a spell on Barnabas that turns him into a vampire and traps for two centuries, until finally escaping. Their relationship is that of high school caliber, they insult each other but still have sexual desires. Depp is always a marvel to watch and here, his presence makes the entire scene a riot. His comedy comes from how sophisticated he is in such a loose and casual environment. Eva Green is phenomenal in her role, being conniving and slithery, but also passionate and fair. She is a witch who got her heart broken and want justice for it. Even though she is in such a position of power and can come out winning, she is denied what she strives for.
The film’s plot starts with Victoria Winters comeing to Collinswood to help David Collins cope with the loss of his mother, but once Barnabas is introduced, it takes a comical shift and focuses on him. Nothing wrong with that, but his interactions with the family are so loose and lead to nothing, it makes it feel pointless and that is the problem, it doesn’t match with anything. Now, if it were up to me, the plot would be this.
We are introduced to Bella Heathcote as Victoria Winters and observe the Collins through her eyes. Everything stays the same, until she encounters the Ghost of Josette. But instead of a ghost, she hears footsteps downstairs and heads out to investigate, only to find Willie(Jackie Earle Haley) sneaking outside and driving away with the family car( which was already said to have been in a disrepair). As the film progresses, Victoria gets closer with David, even though all he wants to talk about is ghosts. He has a curious taste for the afterlife, as we see him dressing up as a ghost around the house, standing in corners and watching the rest of the family. One night, Victoria will see David in costume in her room, only to find that it is actually the Ghost of Josette warning her that “He’s Coming”. Victoria would ask the family if they had heard or seen anything unusual in the house recently, to which they will all deny, except Willie, who she can never seem to find.
After the first 45 minutes, we follow Willie as he spends his nights running errands around town, not for the family though, for his own needs. At the house, David’s father, Roger is always hostile towards him, but shows a fancy towards Victoria. During an argument between Willie and Roger, he is about to strike him, when Victoria comes in and defends Willie, causing Roger to shuffle away embarrassed. Willie thanks her, but quickly dismisses her once she asks him what he does all night. As Victoria and David’s sessions go on, he shows her some drawings of ghosts he made, which shock Victoria as they have a strong resemblance to “someone of her past”. Victoria attempts to talk to Roger that his son may be able to see ghosts, but he pays little attention to it. Elizabeth(Pfeiffer) overhears this and advises Victoria to lure David away from these kinds of things. Victoria begins to explain herself, but stops as she seems to troubled by something.
While walking around the grounds, Victoria hears voices. Feeling paranoid, she walks cautiously in fear, but finds that the voices are coming from Willie who is carrying a heavy box down to the basement through the garage. Upon close inspection, Victoria notices it is a coffin. Willie warns her about telling anyone and threatens to tell Elizabeth about her own “demons”. This horrifies Victoria, but agrees and goes to find David. She tells him and Elizabeth that she may not be able to help him and will leave Collinswood the next day. On her last night, the Ghost of Josette appears one last time and leads Victoria away. She continues to call out for help as she walks out of the house and through the woods. Victoria hurries after her and catches up only to see Josette reach the end of a cliff, turn around, and plead for help once more. In a hypnotic stare, she falls off. Victoria is left alone, cold and confused as she begins to cry out. She is then approached by David who comforts her and admits that he “sometimes sees her too”. They both meet Elizabeth back at the house and this is where Victoria reveals her story, same as in the movie. Her name is Maggie Evans and she has been able to see ghosts since she was young. Upon spending several years in a mental institute, she escaped and found the job in Collinswood. Elizabeth allows Victoria to stay as long as she continues to help David. Meanwhile, in the basement, Willie is hunched over the coffin he was dragging earlier, when it suddenly opens, revealing a long arm that nearly strangles him. In the morning, Victoria and David prepare to go down stairs for breakfast and both promise to help each other. Victoria enters the dinning room to where Elizabeth introduces a new guest to the rest of the family, Barnabas Collins.
So that would be my movie, then this would act as a sequel with Barnabas and Victoria’s relationship blossoming as well as his revenge on Angelique. Every fan goes through a period where they think that their favorite actor or show or writer can do no wrong, that everything they produce is solid gold and stands on an impossibly high pedestal. But as one grows up, they start to see that sometimes, their artist doesn’t make the best thing that they could’ve. For me that was Alice in Wonderland(2010), not Dark Shadows. It’s a movie I always find myself watching at least twice a year and loving everything about it, even if my version is a little bit more coherent.
Last appearance by Johnathan Fried, the original Barnabas Collins